A Short History about wind’s electricity generation arrival
“Scottish engineer and physicist James Blyth (1839-1906) was credited as the first to generate electricity by constructing a windmill attached to a dynamo to light his cottage in his home village of Marykirk, Scotland in 1887. He offered to allow his current to be used to light the main street of the village, but superstitious residents reportedly considered the mysterious electric light to be “the work of the devil“!
The Ups and Downs of Industrial Wind Generation
A day in the life of industrial wind turbines in Ontario
On November 11th Ontarians were treated to the up and down vagaries of IWT (industrial wind turbines) spread throughout the province. They did a great job exhibiting their spasms and inability to generate power when needed but cranked it out when unneeded. A few examples over the day follow!
At Hour 1, IESO forecast IWT would generate 3,936 MW but only accepted 3,253 MWh on the grid so we should assume the difference (683 MW) was curtailed at a cost of $120/MWh allocated to ratepayers. The market price (HOEP) was 0.00/MWh over the hour as we supplied Michigan, New York, and Quebec with 2,428 MWh. The 2,428 MWh represented 74.6% of the above noted grid accepted IWT generation so clearly wasn’t needed but, we ratepayers picked up their costs of over $327,000. To drive the point home IWT frequently generate power when its unneeded! Ontario’s peak demand in Hour 1 was only 12,591 MW and could have been easily supplied by nuclear and hydro alone but the “first-to -the-grid rights allotted to IWT companies usurps our other generation sources! Hydro at that hour generated only 3,307 MWh, their lowest hourly generation for the day!
Moving on to Hour 4 (hour ending at 4 AM) IESO reported it as the lowest Ontario peak demand hour (12,095 MW) for the day and those IWT were still humming and forecast to generate 2,938 MW. IESO accepted 2,718 MW (22.5% of demand) and sold off 2,497 MW (91.9% of accepted IWT generation) to the same Hour 1 buyers for the princely sum of $3.49/MWh generating $8,714.53 of revenue but it cost (assuming it was all IWT generation) us Ontarians $337,095.00 without including curtailed costs.
Hours 1 to 7
Hours 1 to 7 saw IESO forecast IWT generation of 19,866 MW (58% of their capacity) and 17,884 MW was accepted while exporting 16,422 MW (91.8% of IWT grid accepted generation). The HOEP average was $8.90/MWh for those 7 hours meaning if those exports were either all IWT generated power (very likely) or caused by them the net cost to Ontario ratepayers was: $1,963,000 (16,422 MW X $135 plus 1,982 MW [curtailed] X $120 minus 16,422 MW X $8.90) for those 7 hours!
Hours 8 to 19
As the day progressed Ontario peak hourly demand increased while generation from IWT fell and at Hour 18 they only supplied 267 MW or 1.5% of Ontario’s daily peak demand of 17,237 MW! IWT failure at that hour to provide generation meant “net imports” were 1,004 MW as we purchased power from Quebec and even some from Michigan. We paid an average of $46.93/MWh for that imported power greatly exceeding the cost of our sales to them in the middle of the night when those IWT were generating power we didn’t need. As IWT generation fell the HOEP market price climbed and from hours 8 to 19 averaged $50.12/MWh a vast improvement from the early morning prices.
Hour 17 and hours 20 to 24
IWT generation at Hour 17 was at its lowest for the day generating only 240 MW but it started to ramp up slowly and by hour 20 was generating five times what it generated at hour 17. For hours 20 to 24 IESO accepted 10,357 MW as peak demand fell and exports climbed. Needless to say, as demand fell over the final five hours IWT generation increased while the HOEP fell from $34.40/MWh during Hour 20 to $2.11/MWh in Hour 24 as our unneeded generation from those IWT climbed!
The “first-to-the-grid” rights granted to the IWT owners by the Ontario McGuinty/Wynne led government(s) continue to burden us ratepayers with costs as the foregoing clearly demonstrates! As it turned out November 11th, 2022, captured the intermittency and unreliable nature of IWT over a 24 hour period clearly demonstrating how they operate not just daily but, weekly, monthly and annually!
Based on what Ontarians and many others around the world are currently experiencing, due to the unreliable and intermittent nature of those “windmills”, we should, perhaps reconsider the events from 135 years ago! Eco-warriors around the world have pushed to have IWT replace reliable electricity generation from fossil fuels in their push for “net-zero” so perhaps the label by the residents of Marykirk, Scotland in 1887 should be resurrected and applied to IWT but not the electric light.
Perhaps it really is the “work of the devil” posing as an eco-warrior out to save the world from “climate change” that brought on the push for those intermittent and unreliable IWT!
Yesterday, October 2nd, 2022, once again, demonstrated how IWT (industrial wind turbines) generate wasted costs for Ontario ratepayers and taxpayers. Their “first-to-the-grid” rights is akin to us simply going outside and throwing our after-tax dollars into the wind! The contracts IWT owners have continues to drive up our energy costs due to their propensity to deliver unneeded power more frequently than they deliver “needed” generation! Reliable Power is not something we should expect from IWT as is again evidenced by how they perform!
During the first 16 hours yesterday the IWT were humming and produced 32,400 MW and also had another 8,300 MW curtailed which collectively was about 52% of their capacity. Combined those IWT owners will see $5.470 million delivered to their bank accounts for those 16 hours as they are paid $135/MWh for grid accepted generation and $120/MWh for curtailed generation.
During those same 16 hours none of the wind generation was needed as when demand peaked over those hours at Hour 16 it was only 13,296 MW and the daily peak at Hour 20 only reached 15,320 MW!
The unneeded 32,400 MW those IWT generated in the first 16 hours, along with the curtailed power, drove down the market price or HOEP (hourly Ontario electricity price) to an average of $1.57/MWh.
The low price was loved by our neighbours in New York, Michigan and Quebec as they snapped up 38,743 MW generating a miserly $60.8 thousand for what cost us Ontario ratepayers/taxpayers north of $5.4 million just for the IWT generated power.
We Ontarians were also dinged for the remaining 8 hours but the HOEP was at least higher averaging $39.57/MWh meaning it didn’t cost us the $166.94/MWh we had to absorb for the first 16 hours of the day selling off the IWT generation. During those 8 hours wind delivered another 10,223 MW (26% of capacity) so we were forced to absorb another $404K.
We should continue to wonder; why doesn’t the Ford led Ontario Conservative Party end the madness (stupidity) of those IWT contracts by passing legislation eliminating their “first-to-the-grid” rights?
September 26th was another day where Ontario’s ratepayers and taxpayers were burdened with paying lots of our after-tax dollars to IWT (industrial wind turbines) owners for energy surplus to our demand!
The approximately 4,900 MW of IWT cranked out 64,726 MW (55% of their capacity) and received the contracted price of $135/MWh. Additionally, it appears IESO also had them curtail 6,100 MW (5.2% of capacity) for which they received $120/MWh. In total the cash they will be paid is about $9,470,000 ($8,738,000 for grid accepted generation plus $732,000 for curtailed generation).
The annoying part of the foregoing costs to us Ontarians is, we didn’t need the IWT generation as so frequently happens during the Spring and Fall seasons when demand is low. The peak demand yesterday occurred at Hour 17 (hour ending at 5 PM) which was 15,657 MW versus the 20,000 MW plus peak demands we frequently see during warm summer days. The latter is when those IWT often generate a miserly 5 to 10% of their capacity.
As it turned out IESO was busy yesterday selling our excess generation to our neighbours in Michigan, New York and Quebec who gobbled up 61,181 MW (94.5% of IWT generation) of the unneeded surplus. What normally happens when those IWT are generating those unneeded megawatts is the market price is always low. Yesterday was no exception as IESO sold off the foregoing for the average HOEP (hourly Ontario export price) market price of $13.36/MWh so it produced revenue of only $817,000 meaning it barely paid for the cost of just the curtailed generation!
Those “first-to-the-grid” rights the McGuinty/Wynne led Ontario Liberal Party gave to the IWT owners via the FIT (feed-in-tariff) contracts continues to harm us and impacts the costs of electricity in the province eating up family and business money during these inflationary times.
Just more “money for nothing” from us compliant ratepayers/taxpayers doing nothing to reduce emissions while picking our pockets!
It appears to be similar to mating horses and donkeys to create mules. Considering how long batteries and wind generated electricity have been around perhaps IESO should name this new “hybrid” they claim now exists in Ontario? The words “double-dealing” and or “chicanery” added to wind/battery or solar/battery would be a good descriptive for these hybrids!
The foregoing implies IWT (industrial wind turbines) and solar with FIT (feed in tariff) contacts brought to us in Ontario by the McGuinty/Wynne governments will be renewed as long as battery storage is added by the owners. One should wonder if the Ontario Minister of Energy, Todd Smith has been played by Mark Carney, Vice Chair of Brookfield? A Brookfield subsidiary recently proposed a $300 million 161 MW (megawatts) battery storage unit that will reputedly contain four hours (644 MWh) of dispatchable energy and those batteries will be charged in the middle of the night and dispatched during the day when demand is high. The benefit to Brookfield will translate to selling the power when the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy prices) market price is high while downloading it when prices are low.
What looks to be somewhat confusing about this “hybrid” issue is the Energy Minister’s letter of August 23, 2022 wherein he states: “I am pleased to see that through the first Medium-Term RFP (MT1 RFP) our government’s approach of competitive procurements has secured supply at a cost about 30 per cent lower than previous contracts.” It one believes he was referencing IWT contracts which are paid $135/MWh that would reduce the price for grid accepted wind to $94.50/MWh without including what we are also paying for “curtailed” generation of $120/MWh!
Interestingly enough it appears the “30 per cent lower” quote from the Ministry letter is related to comments in the 46 page September 2022 report from IESO titled: “Enabling Foundational Hybrid Facility Models in the IESO-Administered Markets”! The IESO report has the following two sentences: “Post-market renewal, there will be a locational marginal price (LMP) for the storage injecting resource and another LMP for the storage withdrawing resource. The LMP values may be different for the two (2) resources (e.g., $20/MW for the storage withdrawing resource and $21/MW for the storage injecting resource).”
The question becomes; had IESO negotiated the additional payment(s) with the IWT owners and made the Minister aware of the agreement reached before he penned his letter as it infers; due to the date of his letter proceeding the IESO report by one month?
Despite the foregoing question it seems interesting that the two additional payments added to the 30% reduction would bring the total cost of wind generation to $135.50 ($94.50+$20.00+21.00=$135.50). The other question is whether the IWT owners can pick and choose when to sell their stored energy and if they will be allowed to choose hours when the HOEP market price is higher than the guaranteed price?
Another very recent announcement from Capital Power in Windsor suggests Ontario’s natural gas fired plants are keen to get in on the “battery” storage action as the September 21, 2022 article in the CBC suggests. Capital Power is proposing to add a 40 MW battery storage unit particularly as IESO has forecast “demand in southwestern Ontario as a whole is expected to double over five years to about 2,000 megawatts”. The article highlights a report from Power Advisory which amusingly recommends the City of Windsor ironically investigate “importing power from Michigan” whom the EIA (US Energy Information System) note in 2021 got their largest share (32%) of electricity from coal generation.
One of the principal reasons for the IESO projected demand increase is; “the announcement of the $4.9-billion Stellantis-LG Energy Solution electric vehicle battery plant, a massive facility slated to open in 2024.” The press releases from the Provincial and the Federal Governments don’t disclose how much taxpayers will be providing as the Federal Press Release notes: “Details of this agreement are subject to commercial confidentiality and cannot be disclosed at this time”. Needless to say we taxpayers should expect government grants will be several hundred million of our tax dollars! Both press releases tout the wonders of converting from manufacturing ICE to EV automobiles in line with PM Trudeau and his minions seeking to achieve his target of “100% zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) sales by 2035”. The only announcement about grants was from the City of Windsor who have committed $68 million with the help of a $45 million loan from Infrastructure Ontario an Ontario taxpayer owned entity.
As IESO and the Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments here in Canada continue the push for batteries to be manufactured in Ontario and to also provide electricity it is interesting to note California has similar targets as those proposed by our various government bodies. Very recently PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric) experienced yet another major battery fire at a large battery storage unit (182.5 MW) and that plant has now been shut down indefinitely!
From the above summary of ongoing events here in Ontario and elsewhere it seems, in the minds of our bureaucrats and politicians charged with running our energy system (whose objectives should be reliable power), their view is:
Numerous events recently have caused yours truly, and hopefully many more, to wonder; are we are being led by elected politicians, federally, provincially and municipally with IQs (intelligent quotients) that would easily qualify them for a place in the “Dumb & Dumber” cast of the movie of the same name! Those politicians take it upon themselves to direct bureaucrats; responsible for managing public services (entities paid with our tax dollars), to do what they are told. The bureaucrats do as they are told as they are well paid with lots of perks so they don’t “pushback” no matter the stupidity of the directives!
Let’s have a look at a few issues related to mankind’s need for “energy” firmly under control of politicians. Energy, until recently, has caused the world to become a better place; reducing poverty, climate related deaths, increasing lifespans, and damage from weather anomalies i.e.; not “climate change”!
Ottawa is a Great Example of Municipal Idiocy
With municipal elections just around the corner, Ottawa’s Mayoralty Candidates are having “eco-debates”! The candidates include Bob Chiarelli a former mayor of Ottawa and when he was Ontario Minister of Energy is famous for suggesting the $1 billion cost associated with moving the planned Oakville gas plant was the cost of a Tim Horton’s coffee. It should come as no surprise the debates relate to the city councils approved; “Energy Evolution”, an 86 page document forecast to cost $57.4 billion and will reputedly transition Ottawa to a “net-zero” city by 2050. With a population of about 1.1 million that represents a cost per resident of about $52K or more than $200K for a family of four. An earlier article about Ottawa’s plan to get to “net-zero by 2050” strongly suggests it was written by Pollution Probe a group dedicated to convincing us all to abandon our use of fossil fuels to achieve the COP-26 targets. As if to exacerbate the push to spend those billions of dollars the City of Ottawa contracted Innovative Research Group to conduct a survey* that seems destined to produce favourable results for the Ottawa politicians due to the skewing of the questions. Perhaps Pollution Probe also had a hand in generating those survey questions? It would be great if those municipal politicians running for mayor or council took the time to look at what has happened in the UK or Germany where energy prices have skyrocketed due to their push to “green” the electricity sector. This winter they plan to control the temperature households set to heat their homes! It seems apparent research isn’t something those seeking reelection or election to the City of Ottawa have bothered to do!
Province of Ontario Demonstrates Provincial Idiocy
From all appearances it seems almost conclusive the Premier Ford led government is simply carrying on with what Ontario experienced under the McGuinty/Wynne led government which brought us an almost tripling of the cost of electricity in the province. While Ford did cancel the GEA (Green Energy Act), it is obvious they are still committed to eliminating fossil fuels completely which affects reliability and will surely drive-up generation costs.
Beyond the announcement OPG would be adding a 300MW SMR (small modular reactor) which may be in service in 2028 at the Darlington site we have seen nothing from the current Ontario government aimed at ensuring we have a reliable supply of electricity in the future! With the approximately 3,000 MW of the Pickering Nuclear plant scheduled to close by 2025 the Ford government (via his Minister of Energy, Todd Smith) is pushing the “Pathways to Decarbonization (P2D)” which fearfully, doesn’t seem to project reliability. The latter is concerning, as via a recent directive Minister Smith “asked IESO to evaluate a moratorium on the procurement of new natural gas-fired generating stations in Ontario and to develop an achievable pathway to phase out natural gas generation and achieve zero emissions in the electricity system.” From all appearances the directive has led to the upcoming (September 19, 2022), Ontario Energy Conference “Navigating to Net Zero” classified as “Ontario’s Energy Transition”! According to the page describing the conference a key issue is; “Energy customers are demanding clean energy solutions with some urgency” but doesn’t disclose who those “energy customers” are. My (personal) guess would be they are not small/medium sized businesses or households suffering from inflation but may include eco-warrior charities like Environmental Defence, David Suzuki Foundation, etc. etc. In reality, it appears to be simply Ontario’s politicians complying with the wishes of Prime Minister Trudeau and his Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault; famous for his actions when he was an eco-warrior climbing on the roof of former Alberta Premier, Ralph Klein’s home and scaring his wife as well as his criminal action of climbing the CN Tower!
It is worth noting that IESO had previously been asked by Minister Smith to evaluate the phaseout of natural gas and their report indicated the cost to eliminate it by 2030 would be $27 billion and raise electricity prices by 60%. Interestingly on the page with the link to the foregoing report IESO note; “Did you know that natural gas provides just 7% of Ontario’s electricity needs, but on the hottest summer days can provide up to 30%?” This was a clear message from IESO that without natural gas, Ontario would have to increase its generation considerably to ensure reliability and prevent blackouts.
A clear message about vulnerability totally ignored by Minister Smith and the Ford Government!
Only a Few of Many Examples of Federal Idiocy
Looking back to August 19, 2021 and viewing a video of Trudeau announcing one of his handouts before the upcoming election is an interesting exercise! At the press conference in BC he promised to provide funding “to support the training of 1,000 new community-based firefighters and the purchasing of new equipment to continue to fight the impacts of climate change across the country”. A question presented to him asked about inflation and the Bank of Canada possibly loosening inflation controls and his response was: “You’ll forgive me if I don’t think about monetary policy”! We should also suspect his Minister of Finance and Deputy PM, Chrystia Freeland, is of a like mind so, spending our tax dollars on the “net-zero” pledge requires no thoughts about the consequences on Canada’s future despite the federal deficit having reached $314 billion in the year that had just ended on March 31, 2021.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz recently visited Canada with the presumed hope Canada might be able to supply some natural gas via LNG shipments but all he got was a promise that maybe, sometime in the future, we might be able to supply Germany with “green hydrogen” generated by IWT (industrial wind turbines) out of Newfoundland. An article out of Germany however about the latter titled“Will rescue come from Canada?”casts serious doubt on that possibility as the following from the article notes (from the Google translation): “So does this prove the feasibility of LH2 imports from Canada? The technical possibility may be given. However, the profitability is more than questionable. If you look at the whole supply chain: wind energy – electricity – electrolysis – liquefaction – ship transport – distribution – storage – generation in fuel cells – feeding into the grid – then you have to be very skeptical. It would be maddeningly expensive. Maybe then the LH 2 tax will be introduced in Germany and the kilowatt hour will ultimately cost one euro.” This was the best PM Trudeau could offer as the Liberals have stifled the generation of fossil fuels and the pipeline that would have brought them to export terminals.
The Trudeau led government during their reign in Canada have continued their efforts to achieve “net-zero” crippling our natural resource sector, advocating for EV to replace ICE vehicles by subsidizing their purchase and increasing the carbon tax on gasoline and diesel fuels. He and his minions such as Steven Guilbeault, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, despite having some of the largest reserves of natural gas in the world, have refused to allow the building of the infrastructure needed to export our oil and gas resources!
The “Build(ing) Back Better” advocacy pushed by the WEF (World Economic Forum) has become the recent version of the former communist “Five Year Plans” by the Liberal Government and enshrined in past budgets of the Trudeau government. It appears they haven’t realized Russia abandoned those Five Year Plans many years ago! Canadians are now experiencing the results of those plans with inflation climbing, record Federal Debt, taxes rising and investment fleeing the country despite Canada’s abundance of resources. It sure appears “Building Back Better”, by eliminating Canada’s exploitation of our natural resources is cripplingly us and harming those citizen’s who are not members of the elite’s of the Canadian Liberal Party.
We should all find it fascinating a couple of months ago PM Trudeau was in Nova Scotia for a staged presence once again handing out $255 million of our tax dollars with $125 million destined for wind projects and $130 million for battery storage. While making the announcement he was standing in a farmer’s field and in the background were several wind turbines that were totally dormant. We should doubt Trudeau actually noticed how those IWT demonstrated their intermittency and unreliability!
The foregoing event occurred shortly after Trudeau displayed his new haircut patterned after Jim Carrey when Carrey stared in the movie series, Dumb & Dumber. Now isn’t that ironic in how his new haircut and those dormant wind turbines enunciate how incredibly incompetent our current crop of elected leaders appear!
The time has come for politicians to take off the blinkers and do basic research before accepting what the eco-warriors incorrectly see as the end of the world unless we achieve “net-zero” emissions.
*Full disclosure: I completed the survey twice using my e-mail address without pushback so eco-warriors from Pollution Probe or others may well have completed it dozens of times.
Those IWT (industrial wind turbines) once again, on August 13, 2022, repeated their shortcomings of generating reliable electricity which they previously demonstrated by their failed performance on August 12, 2022 and a few other occasions so far this month.
The approximately 4,900 MW of IWT grid-connected capacity once again fell flat in doing what reliable generation is supposed to do. Those IWT ignored Ontario demand which for the day (24 hours) totaled just over 311,000 MWh. The IWT delivered 2,361 MWh over the 24 hours representing 0.64% of total demand at an hourly average of 98 MWh or about 2% of their capacity.
Those IWT peaked at Hour 1 (hour ending at 1 AM) when they produced 289 MWh and their low point was hour 9, when daily demand was climbing. At hour 9 they managed to generate 8 MWh (0.16% of their capacity) or about 3 kWh per IWT. One should surmise at that hour and at Hour 10 when they cranked out a miserly 11 MWh they were consuming much more power than they were generating!
The daily Ontario peak demand on August 13th occurred at Hour 18 (hour ending at 6 PM) at 17,352 MW and those IWT contributed 89 MWh or 0.51% of peak demand and 1.8% of their capacity. Thankfully at the same hour Ontario’s natural gas plants ramped up to cover the shortfall generating 2,311 MWh or 13.3% of that hour’s demand.
One should wonder why in the world did our politicians (the McGuinty/Wynne days with Gerald Butts directing traffic) commit us Ontarians to provide IWT companies with first-to-grid rights?
When anyone buys an expensive appliance or piece of equipment, they would never be impressed with a warranty suggesting; “may frequently perform at levels of less than 2%” but for some reason our elected politicians did and so far, the current Ford led government seems content to allow the charade to continue.
Time to let the politicians know IWT don’t deserve their contracts and they should pass a law demoting their stature by revoking their “first-to-the-grid-rights”. It is obvious to anyone examining the electricity sector in Ontario, IWT frequently generate unneeded power during the Spring and Fall seasons for which they are paid to often curtail generation (an expense for ratepayers) whereas, as pointed out above and in other recent posts, they often fail to generate power during our high demand periods occurring in the Summer and Winter seasons!
NB: Peaking at August 14, 2022 IWT generation suggests it looks to be more of the same!
The foregoing paraphrases the Britney Spears song, but those IWT (industrial wind turbines) factually; “did it again”, on August 12, 2022, as we Ontario ratepayers/taxpayers experienced!
Now if CanREA (Canadian Renewable Energy Association) would simply put out a press release and use the line from the Britney Spears song that said; “Oops, you think that I’m sent from above, I’m not that innocent” and admit they are both unreliable and intermittent some of us might be inclined to appreciate their candour! We would still be upset their “first-to-the-grid” rights and their solar friends, caused energy prices to more than double in less than 10 years and now hit taxpayers for an additional annual cost of around $6 billion just to keep electricity prices at somewhat affordable levels.
IWT at Ontario’s peak hour on August 12, 2022; occurring at Hour 18 (hour ending at 6 PM), generated 211 MWh which was 1.1% of the hourly demand of 18,581 MW! Thank goodness our natural gas plants were available as they generated 2,800 MWh which was 15.1% of demand.
Looking back on the day at Hour 1, demand was low at 13,784 MW and naturally that was when those IWT were humming and generated an unneeded 1,365 MWh or 9.9% of that hours demand! At that hour nuclear generated 10,403 MWh and hydro 3,260 MWh demonstrating wind’s uselessness, forcing IESO to sell it off our surplus generation to our neighbours in Michigan, NY and Quebec for $13.96/MWh after paying the owners of the IWT $135/MWh.
If we then look at Hour 10 those IWT were probably consuming more then their output at that hour as IESO reported they generated 75 MWh while demand was climbing and peaked at 16,284 MW meaning those IWT produced 0.46% of that hour’s demand.
As is obvious, they “did it again”!
NB: Today (August 13, 2022) at Hour 9 those IWT generated 8 MWh with demand at 14.236 MW so their contribution at that hour was 0.056% clearly demonstrating they are totally unreliable!
Another couple of warm (not hot) summer days here in Ontario on July 16th and 17th and guess what? If you guessed those IWT (industrial wind turbines) were basically unreliable and failed to deliver what the eco-warriors believe in, you were absolutely right!
Those IWT on July 16th at Ontario’s peak demand of Hour 17 (hour ending at 5 PM), generated 158 MW or 0.8% of the peak demand of 19,999 MW. That 158 MW represented 3% of their capacity at that hour but much earlier in the day they reached their high for the day at 3 AM when they generated 444 MW or 9% of their capacity. At 9 AM however when demand is increasing, they once again hit their low point generating only 44 MW or 0.9% of their capacity. In total those IWT generated 4,906 MW over the full 24 hours and that represented only about 4.2% of their capacity.
Fortunately for all of us Ontario’s natural gas plants were available to ramp up at 9 AM and generated 1,309 MW and at the Hour 17 peak for the day generated 4,483 MW.
On July 17th the IWT were generating 531 MW at the Ontario peak demand hour which was once again Hour 17 and was 2.6% of the peak which reached 19,925 MW. Those IWT peak for the day, was Hour 21 at 635 MW or 12.9% of their capacity. Earlier in the day at Hour 9 they generated 118 MW or 2.4% of their capacity
Once again, those natural gas plants came to the rescue generating 4,427 MW at the peak hour, and 1,563 MW at Hour 9 when those IWT were almost absent and because demand was still high at Hour 21 those gas plants generated 4,081 MW.
While the gas plants were demonstrating their necessity it is ironic as IESO is contemplating adding additional reliable supply via the addition of a 600-megawatt hydrogen-ready power plant project in Sarnia, Jack Gibbons of the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) is pushing to stop it! “The new plant would be designed to run on either 100 per cent natural gas or a blend of up to 65 per cent hydrogen and natural gas, according to a document the company submitted to the federal agency.” The article in the Sarnia Observer went on to quote Gibbons: “Building a new gas-fired power plant would be moving Ontario in absolutely the wrong direction”. The OCAA’s list of supporters includes none other than George Smitherman, former Minister of Energy under the McGuinty led government and who enacted the GEA (Green Energy Act). Another supporter is Peter Tabuns, Ontario’s NDP energy critic. It seems obvious the same individuals who caused Ontario’s electricity prices to spike by well over 100% in the past decade don’t recognize the importance of a reliable and competitively priced electricity supply.
All Ontario residents and businesses should be thankful our natural gas plants are at the ready to ensure we don’t suffer rolling blackouts similar to what is happening in Europe and in US states such as California and Texas who have embraced wind and solar in order to save the planet from the fictitious predictions of the eco-warriors!
Well, summer has finally arrived and as happens annually, wind falls off with the possible exception of the occasional hurricane’s arrival!
Once again, wind generations summer fail was evident as on July 7th, 2022 Ontario’s industrial wind turbines (IWT) with a capacity of about 15.6% of total capacity in Ontario was at the bottom of the heap in respect to generation!
As one example Ontario’s peak demand occurred during a five-minute interval at Hour 17 reaching 19,638 MW and the 4,900 MW* capacity of wind generated only 332 MW at that hour representing 6.7% of it’s capacity and 1.7% of demand. To wit:
At peak, generation sources were producing the following:
Nuclear 9,529 MW
Hydro 5,222 MW
Natural Gas 4,336 MW
IWT 332 MW
Solar 207 MW
Biofuel 115 MW
Total 19,741 MW
As is obvious from the above the three sources of what are referred to as “new” and renewable (IWT, Solar, Biofuel) energy collectively delivered 654 MW or 3.3% of Ontario demand which clearly suggests without nuclear, hydro or natural gas generation Ontario’s households and businesses would have been living with rolling blackouts at the very least throughout the day.
IESO reported wind’s peak generation occurred at Hour 1 (hour ending at 1 AM) when it produced 462 MW of its capacity (9.4%) and it wasn’t needed as demand at that hour was falling below 13,000 MW. When morning arrived however and demand was increasing at 9 AM those IWT (industrial wind turbines) produced a miserly 57 MW (1.2% of their capacity).
As many Ontarians know IWT under the terms of their contracts have “first-to-the-grid” rights ranking ahead of all other generation sources and if their generation isn’t needed, they are still paid if IESO curtail them. It is worth noting the latter regularly occurs during the Spring and Fall seasons when peak demand is much lower but those Spring and Fall breezes are a part of our normal weather pattern.
As the Premier Ford led Ontario Government ruling party embark on their second majority governing term we should hope (and pray) he and his minions will actually do something to alleviate the mess in the energy sector created by the Ontario Liberal Party when they ruled the province!
Hopefully that is not too much to ask of Premier Ford or to expect during these times of rising inflation caused principally by rising energy costs!
*For some reason five (two are related) of Ontario’s IWT farms are still not yet commissioned even though they have been operating for a few years under contracts signed during the McGuinty/Wynne years. They are: Amherst Island (83 MW capacity), Bow Lake (two with a 58 MW capacity and Henvey Inlet (North & South with a 300 MW capacity).
Well, once again, Ontario’s electricity generators were producing power we didn’t need. Nevertheless, the ratepayers and taxpayers of Ontario were obliged to give it away to our neighbours in Michigan, Quebec and New York. This is a regular occurrence during the Spring and Fall seasons as demand is generally at the lowest levels for us but the GEA (Green Energy Act) imposed by the Liberal government during the McGuinty/Wynne years declared wind and solar generation were the future so they gave them contracts with very high rates and “first-to-the-grid” rights!
Ontarians have been paying the price for over a decade and despite the fact Liberals were found guilty of their stupidity on the electricity file and booted out of power, the current and recently reelected Ford led Conservative Party has done nothing to change things over their prior four years of power!
So, Saturday the fourth of June was simply another example of how the mess continues!
Peak demand in Ontario occurred during the 18th hour and peaked at 14,437 MW. Nuclear and hydro alone at that hour generated 14,631 MWh so wind and solar were not needed but those damn contracts stand in the way. At that hour wind was operating at 16.9% of their capacity and they could have peaked at 45% of their capacity at 1 AM but IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) had them curtail 1,200 MW.
IESO were busy selling off our surplus power throughout the day to our neighbours and did so with slightly over 24,000 MWh to Michigan, 22,300 MWh to Quebec and about 12,000 MWh to NY! That power was sold at the astronomical (sarcasm intended) average HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) of $6.34/MWh.
What the preceding tells us is we are giving Michigan and New York, clean green power to help then keep energy costs low and reduce their emissions. Quebec benefits by not using their hydro generation which they have presold to US States like NY under lucrative contracts. No benefit for Ontario’s ratepayers or taxpayers as the following outlines!
If we simply assume the approximately 58,000 MWh, we exported earned us only $368,000 (58,000 MWh X $6.34/MWh), we should consider what it cost us!
The mix of electricity sold presumably included wind generation (26,000 MWh including curtailed), solar, hydro, nuclear and perhaps even a little natural gas. The minimum cost was approximately $116/MWh based on the GA (Global Adjustment) estimate by Scott Luft and the 2nd estimate by IESO for May and includes the $30/MWh taxpayer subsidy. Using the $116/MWh the cost of those exports becomes $6,728,000 and including the 4,900 MWh of curtailed wind total costs rise to over $7.3 million. So, for what cost Ontario ratepayers/taxpayers $7.3 million we received less than $400K.
What the foregoing points out to the politicians in charge is that there is something inherently stupid with the way our electricity system is managed. We changed the political parties once because of the electricity file but the Ford government simply shifted a large part of the costs to the taxpayers so it was hidden from sight.
Perhaps the next election will be focused on the provincial debt and include the costs the Ford led government hid inside our Provincial debt.
If they actually do something to sort out the mess created by the Liberals it could reduce the provincial deficits by $6.9 billion as reported by the FAO of Ontario assuming they can keep electricity costs flat, perhaps by taxing the intermittent and unreliability of that expensive and harmful wind generation.